Athletes Or Influencers? AthletesVoice Explores The Role Of Branding, Data And Social Media In Sport

Athletes Or Influencers? AthletesVoice Explores The Role Of Branding, Data And Social Media In Sport

Athletes across a host of different sports have garnered large social media followings in recent years. So why do fans flock to the social media profiles of their favourite players?

According to Facebook’s Sports Media partnerships lead Karren Rogers, 94 per cent of sports fans come to Instagram to see the personal side of athletes, while of the 10 sports accounts that users of Facebook and Instagram follow on average, eight of those are personal accounts of athletes.

And according to AthletesVoice founder and CEO Kerry McCabe, this is all part of a wider trend in sport and the media.

“The phenomenon of athletes becoming the media isn’t going away. The reality is that they now understand the value of their brands and are fast adopting the channels at their disposal to exert an increasing influence across social issues, politics and marketing,” he said.

“Going hand-in-hand with this trend, athletes becoming owners of sport will also become more commonplace over the coming years, as the actual product in sport – the athlete themselves – are able to further commercialise their brand value across the industry.”

McCabe and Rogers were speaking at the AthletesVoice Vision2020 event held in Sydney yesterday, which took an in-depth look at brand and athlete marketing trends for 2020.

Discussions also looked at the role of both first and second-party data in sports marketing.

“The difference between what data people own and what they’re willing to segment and share is where we’re seeing the biggest development in the data economy,” said Mindbox founder Nic Halley.

“Simply understanding the fan in more detail will trickle down to a better experience in the stadium and in the ability to engage with sponsors. Unfortunately, so many sports codes right now still lack that basic understanding of the fan,” said TEG Analytics GM Andrew Reid.

Adobe sport & entertainment senior account executive Roland Irwin also predicted changes to the way data is used in terms of measurement.

“The big shift we’re going to see in metrics will be from showing the number of devices reached, to the number of people,” he said.

Also speaking was, Dentsu Aegis Network’s soon to commence chief data & tech officer Patrick Darcy, NRL player Luke Keary, Netball player Caitlin Bassett, former Wallabies captain George Gregan and Rugby 7s Gold Medallist Alicia Quirk.


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